Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Slifeshare Aims at Social Attention Space, Misses

Picture%2067.pngThe best explanation of Twitter that I've heard yet is as a tool for "continuous social intelligence." If you like Twitter then you'll see a lot of potential in a service launching today called Slifeshare. Unfortunately, potential is just about all the service has at launch.

Slifeshare captures your Attention Data; it records what applications you use, what web pages you view and for how long. You can post messages and share media. It's supposed to be a social experience and it's got limited value before you build a network. Steps need to be taken to deal with that problem. Think of Slife like a combination of Twitter, the Facebook wall and all wrapped up into one service. This is a complicated enough proposition that lots of little touches are needed - clear communication, tool tips, friendlist prepopulation of some sort- Slifeshare doesn't have any of that.

I don't understand the awkward sounding name of the product, the site and application navigation are maddeningly non-intuitive and I had issues with the performance of the service. I really wanted this application to work for me but right now it doesn't - it feels half-baked.

Users can export their data in XML but at launch there's no other standards being supported. There is an Slifeshare API, which is cool. Unfortunately, the small self-funded team has the crazy idea that users will pay $24 per year in order to access features like the ability to monitor use of more than 3 apps simultaneously and to see who has viewed your Slifeshare profile page. I'm all for charging users for premium accounts but this is not going to work.

Slifeshare is available now as a Mac desktop app or as a Firefox plug-in. There's potential here but major work is needed on the user experience. I don't recommend using it until it's further developed.

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